Socializing and reminiscing with family and friends is more memorable in party form. Here are some ideas to inspire your next summer bash.
With July in full swing and August around the corner, it’s time to think about ways to enjoy sunny days and warm weather with family and friends.
Whether you prefer to keep it simple or want to host the party of the summer, here are some ideas to get those creative (and cool summer beverage) juices flowing.
Scheme for a Theme
A themed party takes out the guesswork, providing guests with built-in ideas on what to bring, what to wear, and what to expect. Sometimes a little creative nudge is all guests need to embrace their inner party animal. Try one of these themes or come up with your own.
The Hawaiian Luau
It’s a classic for a reason.
For starters, think pineapples, piña coladas, and pink flamingos. Keep guests hydrated while taking advantage of the variety of fresh, sweet, juicy fruits available at your local grocery store or farmers’ market. Add vases of colorful flowers, a few plastic palm trees, and any area can be transformed into a tropical paradise.
Whether or not grass skirts and coconut bikini tops are required is up to you.
A Taste of Mexico
A Mexican fiesta is as versatile as it is fun. Incorporate the tropical theme or go traditional with Mariachis and sombreros. A taco bar is a great way to feed a lot of guests easily. Have a “best homemade salsa” contest with gift certificates to your favorite Mexican restaurant for prizes. The two things to have an ample supply: guacamole and frozen margaritas.
Bonus points for filling a pinata with liqueur-filled bonbons.
Of Kumbayas and Campfires
Beat the heat and recreate a fun family outing by hosting an evening summertime get together that requires little more than a fire pit and some lawn chairs. A s’mores bar can be as simple or gourmet as you want.
The real fun begins as dusk gives way to night and guests gather ’round the fire for some classic storytelling. In this case, scary stories include adult children moving back home, finding affordable health care, and the noise that the grandkids are calling “music” these days.
Other summer party theme ideas: Gilligan’s Island, Went to a Garden Party, the Yellow Submarine, a pool party, Disco Days (think Saturday Night Fever) or Carnivale.
Summer entertaining and BBQs go hand-in-hand, but there’s no reason to settle for the same ’ol stuff. Go for shrimp and veggie kabobs instead of hot dogs. Stock the burger-making station with blue cheese crumbles, sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, bacon, roasted red peppers, charred jalapenos and an assortment of gourmet cheeses.
Complement the DIY burgers with some DIY entertainment. Encourage guests to bring their guitars and other instruments to join in a backyard jam session. Or breakout (or rent) the karaoke machine and croon the night away to the classics of your youth.
Keep It Cool
No matter what type of summer party idea strikes your fancy, be sure to offer guests fun and creative, yet delicious and adult ways to beat the heat.
- Rent a shaved ice machine and offer a variety of flavored liqueurs
- Serve vodka-soaked watermelon slices on a stick
- Fill ice cube trays the night before with Rosé or another light-bodied vino then pull out as needed and blend for a refreshing frozen drink
- Sangria in summer is spectacular — keep it on ice and add fruit generously for a sweet summer treat
And if you’re feeling nostalgic, try an adult version of the childhood Lemonade Stand. Ask guests to bring ingredients for their favorite spiked lemonade or offer your own unique selection.
Summertime is a great way to connect or reconnect with family and friends. Schedules are a little less hectic, vacation time is ready to be used, and the weather is enjoyable. If planning a super summer bash is not your style, don’t let that stop you from getting together with the ones you love. Invite them to visit you for a special lunch or dinner, Spectrum-style.